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Netflix Executives Say 'Bright' Success Proves Film Critics Are 'Disconnected From Mass Appeal' ( 330

Last month, movie critics slammed David Ayer and Will Smith's Netflix tentpole "Bright" movie. At present, it has less than 30 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But Netflix executives aren't worried. From a report on IndieWire: The abysmal reviews couldn't stop "Bright" from becoming a humongous hit on Netflix and earning a sequel. [...] According to both Netlfix bosses, "Bright's" success is proof that film critics don't matter as much when they're trying to tap into a global audience. "Critics are an important part of the artistic process, but [they are] pretty disconnected from the commercial prospects of a film," chief content officer Sarandos said. "[Film critics] speak to specific audiences who care about quality, or how objectively good or bad a movie is -- not the masses who are critical for determining whether a film makes money." CEO Hastings, chimed in to add "The critics are pretty disconnected from the mass appeal." Do ratings on movie websites matter? It's not a new topic of discussion. Last year, legendary director, producer and screenwriter Martin Scorsese said he believes real movie goers don't care about Rotten Tomatoes. But some people, including especially in the same room as Scorsese, disagree. Brett Ratner, the Rush Hour director/producer who threw the financial weight of his RatPac Entertainment behind Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice blamed Rotten Tomatoes for convincing people to not watch his movie. Along the same lines, DC fans were angry over Rotten Tomatoes's Justice League ratings .
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Netflix Executives Say 'Bright' Success Proves Film Critics Are 'Disconnected From Mass Appeal'

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  • You know...... (Score:5, Informative)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:23PM (#56009629) Homepage Journal
    ...I don't think I've ever looked at the Rotten Tomatoes website.

    I've seen it referenced in articles about movies, but other than that, I've not paid attention to it.

    Do people really look at that to decide if they're going to the movies or not?

    I just listen word of mouth of friends that have seen a movie and liked it.

    Granted, I don't go OUT to a movie theater that often, it has to be something special that really warrants a MUCH larger screen than I have and better sound, and I have a pretty good set up at my place.

    But anyway....not really that familiar with RT.

    • by gnick ( 1211984 ) has to be something special that really warrants a MUCH larger screen...

      I went to 2 movies in 2017. So far, I've seen 3 this year. The MoviePass subscription my brother bought me for Christmas has really altered my habits. Star Wars was fine; The Shape of Water was good; Insidious was awful. Like you, Rotten Tomatoes holds no weight for me. I've probably been to the site, but I don't remember it and haven't ever relied on it for anything. I put more weight even on an AC review on /. because it's more likely to be a review from somebody "like me" than a random RT review.

      • Re:You know...... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 26, 2018 @07:19PM (#56011831) Homepage

        From the hardcore SW geeks(like myself) Star Wars was terrible. It's a "okay space opera" it's a "okay non-SW cannon movie" but anything else it's just well terrible. And you'd find that most of us would have been happier without Space Mary Poppins and the ignoble death of Admiral Ackbar, or the shoehorning of nobody characters that were one dimensional, and garbage like "but I SAVED YOU!" as Finn decides to try and save the rebel base. The movie itself was terrible, it didn't even do a full run in China which is a big market. It lasted 2 weeks, with a ~92% drop off in week 2. Hell, if you really need to see how badly the movie is doing, they're already selling the toys for $1. If they'd turned around and used the EU cannon material of Thrawn, Mara Jade, and so on? You'd be seeing people cheer from the rafters, because not only is there a line of continuation, but the characters have more depth the Rey "thy Mary Sue" Super-force User and it likely wouldn't be such a flat movie.

        The problem is Disney and the team of writers decided to pull the "fuck the hardcore fan" we'll make it for everyone else. And it failed just as badly as the Ghostbusters remake. Hell the media followed the same script: "It's not *our* fault it was, bad. It's all those alt-right trolls! Look even more trolls! That's why it's bad. NO REALLY TROLLS!" They're still doubling down on it at this moment, but I'll bet if I was a fly on the wall in the head office of Disney there would be an awful lot of worry, and attempts to push the entire team of writers and so on right out the door to try and salvage the franchise. And if you think TLJ is just an isolated incident? The new Han Solo movie has also been going through extensive rewrites, re-filming of scenes, and the main actor is apparently so wooden that they had to have an acting coach on scene. Don't be surprised if the new Han Solo movie bombs that Disney "put's it on the shelf" for a few years.

    • Re:You know...... (Score:4, Informative)

      by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:51PM (#56009899)

      I thought Bright was entertaining and would have given it a 7/10.

      IMDB pegs it at 6.5/10.

      So why RT pegs it at 3/10, who knows....

      • Re:You know...... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by b0bby ( 201198 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @04:04PM (#56010021)

        RT Critics have it below 30%; the audience is more like you, 86%.

        I like RT for this - I can pretty easily figure out that a movie like this is going to be pretty enjoyable, but probably not earthshattering or innovative.

        If both the critics and the audience agree that it sucks, though, it will probably suck. See any Adam Sandler movie.

        • I watch Adam Sandler movies expecting exactly what they give me: stupid-ass humor and not much of anything else. It works, if I'm in the right mood. The thing with that kind of movies is they're not tooting themselves as groundbreaking.
          Now there are movies generating a lot of hype and failing hard, those are bad movies indeed.

      • Re:You know...... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @04:08PM (#56010063)

        IMDB rating is based on user reviews, not critics. Bright got terrible critic reviews, but the user reviews are pretty good. You can see both if you go to Metacritic: 2.9/10 critic reviews, 7.3/10 user reviews. I'd personally give it around 7/10 as well.

        • IMDB rating is based on user reviews, not critics. Bright got terrible critic reviews, but the user reviews are pretty good. You can see both if you go to Metacritic: 2.9/10 critic reviews, 7.3/10 user reviews. I'd personally give it around 7/10 as well.

          Back in the day the movie critic at the CBS affiliate in New York City didn't like "Star Wars". That's "Epsiode 4: A New Hope", the first movie. He trashed it on its opening, gave it a 2 on a scale of 5. This wasn't attacking the movie as lacking in the artsy oscar nominee sense, it was attacking it as stupid and not-fun.

          A few years later I was flipping channels and saw this same movie reviewer on one of the second tier stations. I guess Star Wars wasn't his only mistake.

          This incident left me with a

      • > So why RT pegs it at 3/10, who knows....

        But that's not how RT works. 30% means 30% of critics recommended it. If the average rating really was 3/10, I'm assuming the RT meter would be less than 10%.
      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        We got caught off guard by Bright. When I first saw it "I thought what fresh hell is this?" I sat down and watched it expecting it to be simply horrible. It wasn't horrible. Granted, its wasn't a cinematic master piece ether. I admit that I was hoping it would get better, but to my relief it didn't get worse like so many movies do.

        I'd give it 6/10

    • I go by the IMDB rating when I'm deciding on what movie to watch. I have found over time that I agree with it more often then not. It's not that I won't watch a movie if it's below a 7 but I try to find something over that is in a genre I want to see. Most movies below a 5 really do stink and movies over 7.5 are usually very good as long as it is the right genre.
    • Re:You know...... (Score:5, Informative)

      by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @04:30PM (#56010317)

      I just listen word of mouth of friends that have seen a movie and liked it.

      I'm sure there's plenty of value in that. On the other hand ...

      People like blood sausage, too. People are morons.
      -- Phil Connors, Groundhog Day []

      I think reviews can be helpful if they're clear about what they're reviewing -- the plot, characters, production value, etc... Sometimes it seems a reviewer just doesn't like an actor, or premise, etc... and that seems to drive the review rather than what, objectively, was presented. I've seen plenty of movies on Amazon Prime with objectively low production values that were rather good because of the story or actors, etc... On the other hand, there are also expensively-made movies that aren't worth watching -- even on Amazon. A helpful review is compartmentalized, to some extent, with commentary based on some earned/acquired knowledge of film and film production.

    • I am the exact opposite. I don't like any movies my friends like and I also don't like using anecdotal evidence to decide anything. I use rotten tomatoes rating although not by going to the site directly. I usually see the ratings posted on other movie sites. Now I may decide to view a movie with a bad rating if I like the cast and the plot or if I just feel the need to watch a movie to be culturally aware.
  • by ReneR ( 1057034 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:25PM (#56009643)
    praised by critics, not loved by trekkies, fans, the audience: [] 82% vs. 55%
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:32PM (#56009695)

      Look at the swing with "The Orville" 20% vs 93% Talk about missing the mark.

      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        There's an obvious disconnect there, but I'm siding with the 20%. "The Orville" is awful. I tried to like it, as I've sometimes found myself entertained by Seth's cartoons, but I just couldn't. When they discovered the planet that was identical to 1980's U.S. where everything runs on social media score, exactly like that Black Mirror episode, I was done.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Last Jedi got similar numbers. The critics adored it, the fans hated it.

      Of course, in that case, it is because Disney punishes professional reviewers for bad reviews by blocking their access to movie. I am sure shenanigans like that go on with other companies, too. So, I don't give an ounce of credibility to professional reviewers, as they are obviously just paid shills.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Friday January 26, 2018 @05:56PM (#56011177) Homepage Journal

      Trek fans love Discovery! Look at the forums and comments on popular YouTube channels like Trekspertise.

      Discovery really delivered - a prime universe story, lots of opportunity for speculation, nods to the canon, fan favourite characters brought back and made more real than ever... The story is intriguing, they did the mirror universe as well as it's ever been done.

      The characters are relatable and interesting. Some different ideas to what we have seen before, making it fresh and exciting again. It hit its stride much faster than any other Trek series.

      It's been compared to The Orville. That show isn't bad, but it really quickly became apparent that it's just recycling some really old sci fi standard plots with jokes. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, it just needs to be more original for season 2.

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:26PM (#56009649)

    Batman v superman and Bright rated equally on Rotten Tomatoes for Critics.

    Bright rated significantly higher with audiences than Batman v Superman.
    Bright had no history so it didn't even get rabid fans praising something with Batman as "can do no wrong" so the already lower score of Batman v Superman can be "downcorrected" too.

    Bright was good. Batman v Superman was a messy turd of a movie.
    Don't compare the two.

    • by Ranbot ( 2648297 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:43PM (#56009829)

      The other big difference is their business models.

      Hollywood asks everyone to pay $10-$15+ for a theater ticket or DVD to see their movie. Netflix includes the movie in their standard subscription fee, which also gives customers thousands of other movies and shows.

      Guess which of those business models is going to encourage customers to be more picky about what they choose to watch/pay for?

      Guess which of those business models is going to encourage customers to read online reviews before watching/paying for the product?

      Hollywood doesn't want to accept that their 100 year old flat rate price model causes their problems, so they scapegoat everyone else.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Last Jedi was also a messy turd of a movie, full of plot inconsistencies, characters doing things that make zero sense in order to create audience surprises, entire sequences that contribute nothing to the plot, mixed messages, and so on.

      Yet, the professional reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes loved it. They could not stop gushing on it.

      It is obvious why: they feared the wrath of Disney. The audience reviewers have no such fear.

    • by dave562 ( 969951 )

      Batman vs Superman was HORRIBLE. I am not a huge comic fan or even really all that interested in movies based on comic books in general, so I did not go into the movie with any of that usual baggage. I still thought it was a horrible, "messy turd" of a movie.

    • Batman v superman and Bright rated equally on Rotten Tomatoes for Critics.

      Bright rated significantly higher with audiences than Batman v Superman.

      But there are other variables in play. A critic will, presumably, score a theatrical release exactly the same as a Netflix release. An audience member will not. The bar for watching a movie on Netflix is far lower for a typical viewer than the bar for going and seeing a movie in the theater. As such, a mediocre or bad movie in a theater is a more aggravating

    • Batman vs. Superman was ass.
      Bright was also ass. The difference is Netflix paid for a big "grass roots" marketing campaign. Shills and bots were all over social media pimping the trash movie with nearly identical posts. I assume they gamed the viewer ratings on sites like RT as well, but I didn't see that myself.

    • I have to say that there were multiple problems with Batman v Superman.

      1) The darkness. I don't go to the movies to see Superman portrait as a brooding dark spirit. There are some few occasions where different flavors of Kryptonite or live circumstances causes him to be grumpy or stupid, but to be fair, I never really cared much for the dark portrayal of him.

      2) Batman going open season on Superman and basically just picking a fight instead of solving a problem doesn't make sense. Batman has almost always cl
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I watched Bright and The Last Jedi within days of each other. Bright was the better movie.

    Bright didn't waste 25% of the screen time on a red herring side story that does nothing to advance the plot.
    Both movies tried to make a political point. Bright did so clumsily, while the Last Jedi simply bludgeoned you with theirs.

    Although the plot of neither was particularly complex, Bright was just a simple enjoyable piece of entertainment while The Last Jedi was disappointing for the dismissive way it resolved qu

    • I agree, Bright was a surprisingly enjoyable movie. Certainly not a very intelligent movie or anything, but for a fantasy romp it was plenty good and just the right length.

      • I agree, Bright was a surprisingly enjoyable movie. Certainly not a very intelligent movie or anything, but for a fantasy romp it was plenty good and just the right length.

        That was my takeaway. I'm glad I did not pay $15 to see it in a theater, but I would definitely watch it again under the right circumstances. The world they created holds up surprisingly well and even got me to think a little bit about race/class.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:30PM (#56009679)
    Critics in general are fairly worthless. The vast majority of the current crop (whether film, video game, etc.) thinks their job is to masturbate for a few paragraphs, show everyone how insightful and woke they are, and try to wow us with how much flowery language they can pack in. Long gone are the days where their job's chief concern was about whether the subject was something the audience would actually enjoy.
    • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <(gaygirlie) (at) (> on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:34PM (#56009721) Homepage

      This is exactly why I look at the scores the general populace give, not critics' scores: I find that critics' scores very rarely match my own tastes and while my tastes don't always match the general populace's tastes, they are still leaps and bounds more accurate than the critics'. Many movies/TV-shows I've liked have gotten poor critic-scores on IMDB/Metacritic/etc., but gotten good scores from regular people and vice versa. In fact, I deliberately go and avoid critic-scores these days.

      • I feel like both critics and audience scores have their place, but neither are to be trusted. Critics fall into the trap of caring about the wrong things, erring on the side of being seen as edgy or bold with their statements, or just not giving a movie a fair shake because they watch too many of them. Audiences, on the other hand, tend to be lazy with their reviews, rate things too highly if it falls right in line with their political agenda (or two lowly if it's opposite) and are prone to falling for the

    • by suutar ( 1860506 )

      I partly disagree with you. Critics tell you whether something is Great Art. They've never really been in the business of telling you whether it's enjoyable, although they get billed that way because otherwise nobody would bother to listen to them :)

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        I'd counter with my favorite critic, the late Roger Ebert. Was he interested in Great Art, movies that would make you think, make you feel? Yes, of course he did. The better done examples of that type of movie are well worth checking out.

        But he also had a love for the enjoyable schlocky movie, or the enjoyable pop art. He wrote the screenplay for Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a movie that had bad reviews and no one would consider great art, but eventually got cult classic status.

        The more I re

  • by WillgasM ( 1646719 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:30PM (#56009681) Homepage
    Netflix seems a bit of a special case. I've already payed for the service, so when they release anything that looks remotely appealing, I watch it. That doesn't make it a good movie, it just makes it the best thing on at the moment. Bright was a decent movie (better than 30% for sure), but it wasn't mindblowing. I probably wouldn't have bought a movie ticket. That said, I've been using moviepass, so theater-going has become more like Netflix for me. It doesn't have to be some anticipated summer blockbuster, just the best thing in theaters at the moment.
    • I've already payed for the service, so when they release anything that looks remotely appealing, I watch it.

      There are no refunds for lost time.

      • There are no refunds for lost time.

        Time of people who'd go on Rotten Tomatoes to shout at the void on account of what they percieve as a "conspiracy of critics" against a Max Landis movie isn't very valuable to begin with.

      • I've already payed for the service, so when they release anything that looks remotely appealing, I watch it.

        There are no refunds for lost time.

        Then don't finish what you don't like.

        • by Luthair ( 847766 )
          And don't worry, Netflix will continue to give you suggestions based on you watching 10-minutes before turning it off for the next 10-years.
    • I agree that it is likely that viewers are harsher with movies after driving to a theater and paying x dollars specifically for that showing but still, Netflix has rating scores as well and can also see how many people re-watched the movie. The probably have fairly good methods for measuring audience enthusiasm for a project.
    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      Furthermore, with Bright it depends on what they are calling user ratings. At the movies I pay for individual movies. With Netflix there is no real cost to checking out a movie. Like Bright, the Adam Sandler garbage was heavily promoted. Both were on the front page top for weeks. Both pushed down what I actually wanted to watch. I did watch part of the Adam Sandler garbage movie. Did Netflix count that as a positive review? I have not watched Bright, but I am sure many people just clicked over because
    • Its a good point because its like why TV shows in the past when there were 3 networks had huge ratings but not better objective quality.
      The whole business model for movies and Netflix could not be more different, so the comparison is hard to make.
      Even if Bright was the most watched content on Netflix, does that correlate to more subscriber retention? How could you even measure that.

      Netflix is probably largely banking on the media coverage of this movie driving more people to join Netflix. Even if the movie

  • Every time I log in, most of the screen is taken up by this huge video that auto plays. It said "Bright" or something. It was so visually jarring and there is a screaming audio track on it too. I have begun to mute audio before opening Netflix, and close my eyes and press down button to escape the visual assault.

    Then the last viewed menu comes up. It wont be long before some idiot decides it would be a cool thing to autoplay all the icons to create "visual appeal" and interest.

    With that kind of intrusiv

  • by Gregory Eschbacher ( 2878609 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:37PM (#56009759)

    I enjoyed Bright, Warcraft and King Arthur, despite all 3 getting savaged by critics (and the latter two mostly being disappointments in the US or worldwide). The problem with these movies is they are not 4 quadrant tentpole movies. Warcraft and King Arthur especially were heavy fantasy, as opposed to Lord of the Rings which has broad appeal.

    Bright and Warcraft had extensive fantasy world-building, and it's just not something that appeals to everyone. My wife walked in the room while I was watching Warcraft and rolled her eyes so hard I was afraid she'd faint. BUT THAT'S OKAY. Not every movie is for everyone, something that gets lost when comparing critic reviews to audiences. Ironman and the recent Spiderman had broad appeal across genders and age groups. The DC movies did not, but were enjoyed by the very audience the movie was geared towards.

    It's not good enough to distill a movie to a single numeric value when there are so many disparate audiences. So the Netflix exec is entirely right: Bright can be both savaged by critics and loved by audiences, but what he might not realize is that it's not loved by ALL audiences, but by fans of this particular genre. What's great about a movie like Bright is that it went full-bore into its world-building and that's going to have lasting appeal to fantasy fans, as opposed to being watered down.

    • by dave562 ( 969951 )

      What's great about a movie like Bright is that it went full-bore into its world-building and that's going to have lasting appeal to fantasy fans, as opposed to being watered down.

      This right here is why I enjoyed it. The editing was pretty bad, especially a couple of the cuts between scenes. But the world building and premise was great. I am a big fan of Shadowrun, and IMO the world that they created for Bright is the closest to Shadowrun I am ever going to see in my life time.

    • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

      Bright and Warcraft had extensive fantasy world-building, and it's just not something that appeals to everyone. My wife walked in the room while I was watching Warcraft and rolled her eyes so hard I was afraid she'd faint. BUT THAT'S OKAY. Not every movie is for everyone, something that gets lost when comparing critic reviews to audiences.

      I think what really bothers me is that fantasy movies are given a pass on being "good" movies, because they "appeal to the niche". Like, why can't we have world building AND a logical story line? I appreciate fantasy worlds, but I also appreciate good stories. I want both. And maybe fantasy movies would attract more people (at the very least, the partners of the fantasy nerds) if they didn't ignore the other aspects of a well-rounded movie.

  • Methinks it is to hid the garbage quality of a lot of the content you are producing as of late. Don't get me wrong they still make some good content, but the thumbs up/down "rating" system is crap. Some of the things I've been recommended are laughable.

    This quote made me laugh: CEO Hastings, chimed in to add "The critics are pretty disconnected from the mass appeal."

    Critics seem to like most of the Marvel movies and those have massive mass appeal, hmmm. I haven't seen Bright and maybe its an alright che
  • Pure stupidity... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:42PM (#56009817)

    ... the way corporate execs see movies or any other media is the problem. The reality is you have new kids and people being born into the world all the time of various degree's of intelligence and education levels. So just because a movie has commercial success doesn't mean it isn't bad. Most people are stupid so movies would tend to reflect the intelligence of the average human being on our planet. It's called lowest common denominator for a reason.

    The same way most of us look back on early cartoons of our youth when we are older and can see how media corporations were exploiting the fact we were young and just born yesterday. Every 15-20 years another generation of "born yesterays" appears with no memory of the past, so everything is new and exciting it's part of the reason why movies for average quality because we are a short lived species, older people have had decades of experience to refine their tastes. Those people with refined tastes eventually die and are replaced. So there's and endless wave excellence and mediocrity as generations live and die.

    The reality is without critics directors would not be able to maintain any kind of semblance of quality. Since it's usually people who are intelligent that are making movies for audiences less intelligent than themselves.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:45PM (#56009841)
    Which is also why McDonalds sells 6.5 million hamburgers every day.
    • They taste kinda like pork.

    • To be fair, Japans McDonald's has some pretty good menu items. The gurakoro (a cross between gratin and korokke on a bun) is especially tasty. Too bad they don't have it here. Haven't been to a McDonald's in my home country for years it's so bland and sad.
  • I watched about 20 minutes of 'Bright' and decided it was a turkey. If Netflix thinks that makes me a viewer and potential customer for a sequel, they're going to be disappointed.

    • Since they know that you only played it for 20 minutes I can assure you that they marked you as NOT being a potential customer for a sequel. This is different from the theater screenings since the production companies there don't keep statistics of the number of people that leave the theater early (unless they try to claim a refund of course, not sure that they count that either though).
    • If it wasn't bad to the point that people cancel their subs, and if enough non-subscribers hear about the movie and say: "Hey look! it's will smith fucking around with orcs" -- it was probably a success.

      Besides, anything they can do to maintain a wide array of content is good, doubly good if they don't have to pay another studio/producer licensing fees.

      (I'm with you though, and applaud your tenacity, i didn't even make it past the obnoxious auto-play ad when looking at the title on my roku)

  • by Northdot ( 1585317 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:46PM (#56009861)

    The Bright "professional" critics were probably thinking:

    "Finally a movie that if I trash talk it to boost my critic-cred, it won't endanger my invites to movie premiers and pre-screenings from the big studios"

  • Critics analyze content and make observations. The idea that the critic is here to tell you what you're going to like is incorrect. You're confusing observations with prescriptions. If this idea seems wrong to you, you're not really a part of the critical audience in the first place. Netflix is attempting to appear populist, but all they are really doing is saying, "Don't trust the critics. Trust us. We know what you like." Although they do know what you like, they are also determined to never challe

    • Gordon Ramsey may have called McDonald's burgers cow-pie sandwiches but they still sell billions. People like cow-pie sandwiches, the movie industry is no different.

  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:50PM (#56009897) Homepage

    I sometimes get a feeling that once one critic badmouths a movie, it sets of a chain reaction.

    Other critics will parrot the majority. Some smart guy says a movie is bad because of X... well, I'm a smart guy too, so I should probably point that out as well. And it just spirals out of control, with a movie getting progressively worse in each review.

    Or at least, other critics will look at a film through a new lens. They'll know someone said X, so they'll spend the entire movie looking for examples of X.

    Being unbiased is hard. It's got to be even harder now than ever, now that everyone is connected via very immediate social networks. And you have a lot of amateurs on Youtube/etc. who are early enough in their careers that they haven't figured out their biases yet.

    I actually thought Bright was okay. It's not a smart movie, but it's not dumb either. It was entertaining. It tried something new and had some flaws, but nothing major.

  • ... it was a passable and enjoyable attempt at trying something a bit different.

    Right now, one of the biggest problems with big studios is the expectations of shareholders and companies. We've reached the point where a major movie that doesn't crack a billion dollars is considered a flop. And that says it in a nutshell, because it tells us that the only thing the big studios care about is cranking out carbon copies with two-dimensional characters. "Taking a risk" is not an option for mainstream movie stu
    • that's a problem though, going off of the trailer.

      Consider for example Downsizing (matt damon, kristen wiig) -- the trailers made it look funny, or at least entertaining.. besides matt damon seems to have relatively good taste in what roles to accept.

      First part of the movie wasn't too bad, but then it started climbing up its own ass with environmentalism and social justice and all that. It's pretty rare for me to walk out on a movie in the theater, but holy fuck, it just got painful.

      all told, about $50 aft

  • by ubergeek65536 ( 862868 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:54PM (#56009927)

    It's not a critic's job to guess how popular a movie will be. Far too often poorly made movies are commercial successes.

    I watched Bright, all the way through. About 30 minutes in we were asking ourselves if we had anything better to do.

  • by arse maker ( 1058608 ) on Friday January 26, 2018 @03:59PM (#56009973)

    Years ago I used to go to the movies with a friend alot, often a couple of times a week for years. We would just turn up and see whatever was playing next.
    From that experience I can say I became very much jaded about typical movies.
    After watching so many movies where its almost the same story structure over and over it became hard to really enjoy most movies. You have seen almost the same movie countless times before. Anything that is visually different or told in another style or ANYTHING seemed much better.
    Since then its made me think this is probably why critics and casual movie viewers don't have similar experiences.
    If you eat donuts for a living you will critic aspects of a donut that a casual eater would never care about. Its not boring if you haven't seen the same story 100 times before.

  • I only listen to redlettermedia
  • by DumbSwede ( 521261 ) <> on Friday January 26, 2018 @04:16PM (#56010151) Homepage Journal

    I guess I’m part of the great unwashed masses, because I enjoyed Bright quite a bit. Perhaps because I didn’t view it as a standalone movie, but the introduction of a fantasy series.

    Not sure what critics where expecting. The race and inequality allegories are not subtle, but they touch on a lot of issues. You could read too much into the privileged class of elves. Do they represent Jews? More likely they are intended to represent white privilege and/or the one-percent’ers. Do some races have innate advantages (brightness) that drive inequality? This is a harder question to answer. Very few humans or orcs have the Bright (magic) ability in the movie. In some ways the movie is very predictable, as a plus or minus it raises uncomfortable social questions (without resolution). Perhaps some of its low score is because it fails to give the perhaps mandatory expected PC answers that Hollywood’s seems to demand.

    I found the obvious racial stereotypes the second Star Wars trilogy harder to overlook because they weren’t trying to make any comment about racial inequality, but just playing to stereotypes out of laziness and/or carelessness (hopefully not malice).

    In general I find I usually agree with the critics scores more so than the audience scores, so this one surprised me. I suspect this is a movie that for whatever reason is liked or hated by many with little in between. Since critics have to watch all movies it gets a low score. People inclined to like fantasy and action movies self select in going to and giving a rating to this movie. Largely I think if you raise social issues, critics expect some kind suggested social change, whether realized by the protagonists or not.

    • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

      I guess I’m part of the great unwashed masses, because I enjoyed Bright quite a bit. Perhaps because I didn’t view it as a standalone movie, but the introduction of a fantasy series.

      I think mostly because it was an absolutely terrible introduction to a fantasy series. No one had believable motives (the bad guys are doing bad things... just because; orc dude was gaga over elf girl... just because). There were tons of allusions to past events, but not enough information to form any sort of opinion on those events. The racial premises were interesting, but then ultimately were dealt with in a ham-fisted manner. And then at the very last minute "Will Smith is a Bright! But this will have z

  • The disconnect between critics and audiences is real (see, for example, the ongoing financial success of the Transformers series), but Bright's performance is categorically different from a theatrical movie's performance, because it didn't cost anything to watch.

    Anybody who saw Bright already had a Netflix subscription. Watching Bright cost exactly as much as not watching Bright. The cost/benefit analysis of watching a movie when you're already sitting down and preparing to watch something, on a service y

  • In other news, water is wet, the sun is hot, and proctological exams are uncomfortable.

    Of COURSE they are. And always HAVE been.

    Their priorities and interests when watching films have little to nothing to do with the film itself.

    They're reviewing based on synthetic ideals of what constitutes a "well made" film along the lines of film school and art appreciation.

    Regular people don't watch films like that.

    They go to films for various reasons that all boil down to "Did this film entertain me in the ways I exp

  • You can't compare a movie like "Justice League" being shown in the theaters with a movie like "Bright" being shown on Netflix.

    If I decide to watch "Bright", it costs nothing beyond the monthly Netflix fee I'm already paying. If I hate it, what of it? I turn it off and move on. I can afford to ignore the Rotten Tomatoes score and take a gamble.

    But with a film like "Justice League", I'm going to pay about $30 for two people at a minimum, so I pay attention to the reviews to determine if I'll get my money's

  • There are two metrics that critics and the public see differently: quality and entertainment value. Critics are more prone to see them as synchronized, when they're often not. The public, being comparatively less astute, can easily be led believe spectacle and A-list cast mean quality.

    Bright was a lousy movie due to lame story, bad writing, and ill-considered worldbuilding. But it had spectacle, A-list cast, was something the public (at least those not familiar with things like Shadowrun) had never seen

  • Mass appeal will always be separate and distinct from critical appeal. The former is about the commercial success, the latter about quality. The Big Mac® has mass appeal, but I wouldn't want to eat one.
  • McDonalds should be claimin their michelin star. Despite being heavily criticized by renowned chefs, their appeal to a large audience shows they are haute cuisine!

  • Bright was trash. It's as if a 14 year old wrote it, starting out with a pathetic attempt to address race relations in the most ham-fisted way imaginable, but quickly devolving into a shitty fantasy drama that forgets what it was doing 2 minutes ago. Elves are oppressive whites, orcs are repressed minorities, and humans are just along for the ride to give you some sort of juxtaposition / reference point / grounding in "reality".

    The movie is filled with blunt, show-stopping moments of "BEING RACIST IS BAD"

  • I'd say the Transformer movies proved this long ago.

    But both parties are not wrong. Bright was, objectively, a crappy movie. The visuals and costumes were really well done, but the story was a hot mess. At the same time, it made for a mildly entertaining (albeit mindless) evening and I can see how that would absolutely make it "good enough" in most viewer's minds.

  • RT, for very good reason, splits ratings for paid critics and its userbase at large. For any genre movie (and Bright is all-in Fantasy Sci-Fi, with a splash buddy-cop action), if you are a fan of that genre you should never look at the critic's reviews.

    So yeah, Richard Roper and the reviewer from Uproxx [] (who loved "Tully" and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic and the My Little Pony movie) didn't care for it, and neither did most of their colleagues. I don't really care.

    The fans, the people who wanted to wa

  • In my experience, critics criticize and rarely praise. That's all they do. They pontificate, infer, imply, and judge whether or not a a particular work satisfies their subscribed beliefs or preferences. In fact the production and distribution of criticism (be it political, entertainment, or otherwise) is an ends to itself. People like to read what other people think about something to steer (or intentionally bolster) their own presuppositions.

    But never have I heard of critic responses being cited as pred
  • Many critics have probably forgotten how to just sit back and enjoy a movie because they're too grizzled. They've "seen it all" after having to watch 365+ movies a year and then having to superfluously analyze everyone of them - all for a paycheck.

    Imagine having to smell a different Yankee Candle every day and having to write a review for it. For 5 years. Then someone walks up with, "Christmas Cookies in Bed," candle and asks you for candle review #1839. What would you say? It may go something like this: "W

"For the man who has everything... Penicillin." -- F. Borquin